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You Know Who You Are When You Are You
The Mighty Boosh Live (Stage)
Member Name: jasminesarah
The Mighty Boosh Live (Stage)
Advantages: It's the Mighty Boosh
Disadvantages: They need to spend more time writing - maybe a bit less living the dream...
Well, Dooyoo have messed this up a bit, as I requested the Mighty Boosh 2008 stage show, and they seem to be referring to the 1st Live Show on DVD - but hey ho. I went to see the Boosh at Bristol Hippodrome on Monday (27th October 2008), and it is the 'live' Live Show that I am reviewing.
Loved the radio show, loved the first two series, loved the Live Show (pictured above) and loved the last series, would love watching Noel Fielding watching paint dry - so I was very excited to get tickets to see the Mighty Boosh! On arrival at the Hippodrome we were allowed straight in to find our seats, perusing the over-priced merchandise on the way. (Crack Fox T-shirts and Eels pants available on the Mighty Boosh official website.) The Hippodrome is quite a small venue, and very traditional, the sort of place you'd expect to see a Pantomime, which of course in a way we did! From the Balcony where we sat we were not quite close enough to eat Noel with a spoon, but had an excellent view.
Like the first DVD Live Show, the line between what is performance between Noel and Julian, and Vince and Howard, is blurred. The pair do plenty of front of curtain bantering, just like in the first show it almost appears as if they are playing for time, enquiring how each other is, making remarks about members of the audience (many of whom had come dressed as characters from the TV Shows). Of course, we're all fans, so their playful chatting is greeted with enthusiastic whoops. Vince reveals that the show is sponsered by fashionista Jean Paul Jackettie and attempts to mention his products (including the new perfume - my review title is the strap line) as much as possible, whilst purest Howard is horrified and insists on his own talents being he driving force behind the show, even as we hear his internal monologue admitting "I've done nothing, I'm nearly 40, soon I'll be 50 and then I'll be dead".
Unlike the previous show though, this time there is far less structure. This time they don't have years of carefully honed stand up material up their sleeves, and there is no lengthy Mighty Boosh sketch included (like Tundra and the Nabootique sketches in the first show). The first half consists mainly of introductions of 'Special Guests' - these are familiar and welcomed characters from the Mighty Boosh series, including Tony Harrison, and the wonderful but terrifying Crack Fox with a laugh out loud funny rendition of Ride On Time. To be honest, there isn't a lot of writing here, I laughed plenty, but what we were given was a parade of characters, with some failures of scenery and so on that were made much of - the shambolic nature of a Live show being reveled in. The Boosh relied on us loving them. The first half was supposed to last an hour but over ran by over 15 minutes - so at least some of the 'mistakes' must have been genuine, whereas others I'm sure we'll find (when the new DVD is released) were carefully choreographed.
The Mighty Boosh's very own Pantomime baddie, The Hitcher, turns up with a musical number and some audience banter, but he seems somewhat toned down - perhaps a nod towards the increasingly young audiences that the Boosh receive. This is a shame I think (why can't some parents just understand that not everything is for their precious children?) as The Hitcher's first live appearance (on DVD) was genuinely disturbing and broke new ground that the series could only hint at.
After the Interval Howard/Julian attempts to channel the evening into serious drama, with a worthy and wordy play about the environment. Naturally he has cast himself as the smug saviour of the world, and this proves too tempting for Vince, who sabotages this play in favour of his own version. This is what we expect from The Mighty Boosh and is the only consistent piece of new writing in the show. We're rewarded by Noel, gold miniskirted and blond wigged, sat astride a giant hairdryer. "I'm from the phew-chaar" he trills - explaining that his accent is a mixture of Chinese and Chav, that everyone speaks in the phew-chaar.
The Mighty Boosh seem set on blurring the boundaries between comedy and rock and roll too, having hosted a festival this summer and involving their own live band in the show - The Ungrateful Dead. Music (as well as crimping) has always been a big part of Boosh shows, but the finale to this latest show was several very loud and enthusiastic performances - notably a frenzied rendition of Nanagedon. (There is surely no man alive who could look so great dressed as his granny as Noel does.)
Reading back, I have criticised the show a lot, I should end by telling you that I loved it, I laughed lots and so did everyone around me. I think this show is for confirmed fans, it is very referential. If you've been in a cockerel's boot for the last few years and haven't yet discovered the Boosh, watch the DVDs, but if you're already a fan it is unlikely that this show will disappoint - get hold of tickets if you can.
Summary: They can still do no wrong, I hope they don't just coast from now on though
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